Thursday, April 18, 2024

Zine workshops promote human rights causes

By Jan Andrei Elizalde | March 21, 2024

Three zine-making workshops dedicated to studying women’s rights, the #NoTo174Reclamation movement, and the Palestinian genocide took place last March 13 to 16 at the Ariniego Art Gallery.

The workshops were organized by the Silliman University (SU) English Society (EngSoc) and the Fine Arts Department Student Organization (FADSO) in preparation for the annual zine and print fair.

A zine, a shortened form of the term fanzine, is a small-circulation self-published original work or appropriated texts and images. 

FADSO President Abyan Tan said that, since they already built a zine community inside and outside the university, they wanted to “steer the direction” and make it about the content of the zine.

“Art is political. With what we create, we want to be more mindful and in touch with the issues that we have at hand and also incorporate that in the zine-making process,” he said.

The main event, “XXL Zine and Print Fair,” will be held from March 21 to 23 at the Ariniego Gallery. It will be a three-day public event focused on zine production, printmaking, and self-publishing.

Zines as a form of protest and self-expression

According to Alyana Marie Aguja, one of the workshop organizers and speakers, it was decided that EngSoc and FADSO would do a series of zine workshops before the actual fair.  

“It was [also] decided that, if there were going to be a series of workshops, we’d make them more relevant by speaking about specific issues,” she said.

Moreover, Jireh Catacutan, workshop organizer and speaker, said that zines have always been about advocacies. 

“A zine’s goal is always to counter-culture as well, and I think doing it during women’s month is kind of telling people that even zines have the power to change [something],” he said.

Aguja also added that they wanted the participants to learn that zines are forms of self-expression and no one should be afraid to express themselves.

The women’s writing workshop was a collaboration between Sands and Coral and Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation Dumaguete. 

Meanwhile, the #WeArePalestine zine workshop was held in partnership with WeArePalestine, a group of activists calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire. 

The NoTo174Reclamation zine workshop was organized with Save Tinago, an alliance of Brgy. Tinago residents who are against the ongoing reclamation project in their area.

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